Google+ Allergy-Free Vintage Cookery: New Hope For Food Allergy Sufferers


Sunday, October 21, 2012

New Hope For Food Allergy Sufferers

Could probiotics make it possible for everyone to eat this??
Very interesting news this week for the food allergy community... reported in various sources and discussed in depth in the October 22nd issue of The New Yorker magazine, new studies are suggesting that the balance of bacteria in the gut may be responsible for food allergies, and imbalances may be treated with probiotics.

While devotees of the GAPS diet philosophy have been aware of this link for quite some time, this is the first time the mainstream media has caught hold of the connection between the gut and overall health.  According to these recently-published studies, certain bacteria may be responsible for allowing the body to process particular foods, and the lack of those bacteria can result in an immune system response to food as "poison."  Following this logic, early ingestion of heavy loads of antibiotics may be the source of food allergies, and replenishing these important bacteria with probiotics can reverse food allergies.  (Please note, none of this is proven scientific fact -- just research studies and suggestions.)

These studies also point to bacteria at the root of asthma and obesity as well.  In much the same way as ulcers were once thought to be caused by stress, but have now been proven to be caused by a particular strain of bacteria, our mysterious food allergies may be shown to be caused not by mom's ingestion of peanuts while pregnant, but by those multiple courses of antibiotics from the pediatrician.  This theory may also explain why adults can develop food allergies later in life ... their cumulative load of antibiotics may finally catch up with them, and render their digestion unable to cope with certain foods.

In a completely unscientific experiment, I've been giving my eczema-tortured son a variety of probiotics over the past few months, in both pill and food form.  Much to my amazement, his eczema has disappeared, for the first time in his eight years of life.  In addition, he has been able to ingest small amounts of foods that normally cause rashes, without any symptoms at all.  Certainly, there may be other factors at work, but it is very interesting that our experience bears out the theories published this week.

As I look back on the allergic history of all my boys, the pattern of their antibiotic use most definitely correlates with the onset of their food allergies.  I am hopeful that we've found the key to at least alleviating the worst of our symptoms, if not curing our allergies altogether.  I am interested to hear if anyone else out there has had similar experiences, either with probiotics or the GAPS diet.  What did you do and how did it work for you?  Do you think bacteria might be at the root of food allergies?  What do you think it will take for doctors to jump on this bandwagon?  Please leave your comments below....

Shared with the Gallery of Favorites at Premeditated Leftovers, and Fight Back Friday at Food Renegade, and Sunday School at Butter Believer and Pennywise Platter at The Nourishing Gourmet and Monday Mania at the Healthy Home Economist.


  1. Great article, Lisa! I started giving my son probiotics last year after reading that it may help allergies, and certainly won't hurt anything. I read something recently (I cannot for the life of me remember what or where!) along the same lines and the thought came to me about the amount of antibiotics that are used now during childbirth and/or pregnancy. I wonder if that has any correlation with the rise in food allergies. I look forward to the future of this research!

  2. This is so interesting. I have long wanted to use probiotics but don't know much about them or how to use them especially for my children. My son did not have many antibiotics as a child but developed food allergies; however, I don't doubt there is an imbalance in his system. Where do I find good information on probiotics and how do I find something that is free of the top 8 allergens?

  3. Very interesting. I've often wondered about the antibiotics given to animals that we eat, and how that actually affects us.

  4. What an interesting post! I really enjoyed reading it, and I'm so pleased to hear that you had such good results for your son with using probiotics. The more I learn about probiotics, the more interesting I find them!!

  5. Timely...I have had food allergies on and off all my life, and the last few days have been having problems again. I had just wondered about probiotics, and saw your post. Bingo....

  6. Interesting. My son has mild eczema but one of his favourite foods is yoghurt. I give him live yoghurt and honey and I'm wondering now whether that has helped. He probably has it three times a week at least and this autumn / winter, his eczema has barely troubled him at all, despite having chicken pox recently (and the associated scratching). It does make you think. Also research is looking at a link with breastfeeding alongside weaning as preventative for food allergies. If it is associated with probiotics then that would make sense wouldn't it?

    I know it's all theory at this stage but there are certainly some plausible theories in there.